Reflection for Thursday, July 28, 2022: 17th Week of Ordinary Time.
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|Jeremiah's analogy of potter and clay is familiar to many, especially to those of us who grew up singing "Thou art the potter, I am the clay" from the old hymn "Have Thine Own Way, Lord."* That slow-moving melody, based on a prayer written by Adelaide Pollard, has been in my head as I read and prayed for writing this reflection. Such a wonderful declaration of offering oneself up to the Creator to be made into a Spirit-filled vessel used for God's purpose.|I find Jeremiah encouraging. A potter looks at a misshapen lump of clay and envisions a beautiful, useful finished product. God looks at each of us with a potter's eye and sees potential. Still better, we – sinners all – are imperfect and often damaged goods, but our Potter repairs and uplifts us so we can serve again. Thanks be to God!|We shouldn't view our usefulness as a one-time event, either. We are all works in progress, with God using and repurposing us as we see fit – and this happens as long as we are on earth. A dear octogenarian friend used to get frustrated by people who would claim that they were too old or had already made their contributions. She would tell them, "If you're still alive, it's because God still has a use for you."|It also is important to remember that sometimes we are the clay, and sometimes we are the Potter's hands used to shape other lumps of clay. (We are, after all, each one of us part of Christ's body (I Cor 12:27).) It can be tempting to start grouping people into the good fish and bad fish categories Jesus describes in Matthew. A more Christlike approach is to show love and mercy to others, to focus on their positive potential, with the hope that the Potter is reworking those individuals just as He is with us.|________________|* Jeremiah 18 was the inspiration for Adelaide Pollard's lyrics:|(verse 1) Have Thine own way, Lord, have thine own way.|Thou are the potter, I am the clay.|Mold me and make me after thy will|While I am waiting, yielded and still.|(verse 4) Have Thine own way, Lord, have thine own way.|Hold o'er my being absolute sway.|Fill with thy Spirit till all shall see|Christ only, always, living in me!
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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